Atacama Cosmology Telescope: A measurement of the thermal Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect using the skewness of the CMB temperature distribution

Michael J. Wilson, Blake D. Sherwin, J. Colin Hill, Graeme Addison, Nick Battaglia, J. Richard Bond, Sudeep Das, Mark J. Devlin, Joanna Dunkley, Rolando Dünner, Joseph W. Fowler, Megan B. Gralla, Amir Hajian, Mark Halpern, Matt Hilton, Adam D. Hincks, Renée Hlozek, Kevin Huffenberger, John P. Hughes, Arthur KosowskyThibaut Louis, Tobias A. Marriage, Danica Marsden, Felipe Menanteau, Kavilan Moodley, Michael D. Niemack, Michael R. Nolta, Lyman A. Page, Bruce Partridge, Erik D. Reese, Neelima Sehgal, Jon Sievers, David N. Spergel, Suzanne T. Staggs, Daniel S. Swetz, Eric R. Switzer, Hy Trac, Ed Wollack

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Abstract

We present a detection of the unnormalized skewness âŸ̈ TËœ3(n)âY induced by the thermal Sunyaev-Zel'dovich (tSZ) effect in filtered Atacama Cosmology Telescope (ACT) 148 GHz cosmic microwave background temperature maps. Contamination due to infrared and radio sources is minimized by template subtraction of resolved sources and by constructing a mask using outlying values in the 218 GHz (tSZ-null) ACT maps. We measure âŸ̈TËœ3(n^)âY=-31±6 μK3 (Gaussian statistics assumed) or ±14 μK3 (including non-Gaussian corrections) in the filtered ACT data, a 5σ detection. We show that the skewness is a sensitive probe of σ8, and use analytic calculations and tSZ simulations to obtain cosmological constraints from this measurement. From this signal alone we infer a value of σ8=0.79-0.03+0.03 (68% C.L.) â€-0.06+0.06 (95% C.L.). Our results demonstrate that measurements of non-Gaussianity can be a useful method for characterizing the tSZ effect and extracting the underlying cosmological information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number122005
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Volume86
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 20 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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    Wilson, M. J., Sherwin, B. D., Hill, J. C., Addison, G., Battaglia, N., Bond, J. R., Das, S., Devlin, M. J., Dunkley, J., Dünner, R., Fowler, J. W., Gralla, M. B., Hajian, A., Halpern, M., Hilton, M., Hincks, A. D., Hlozek, R., Huffenberger, K., Hughes, J. P., ... Wollack, E. (2012). Atacama Cosmology Telescope: A measurement of the thermal Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect using the skewness of the CMB temperature distribution. Physical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology, 86(12), [122005]. https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevD.86.122005